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how-to block ads

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Prevention is key in fighting spam. It is usually impossible to 'rescue' an e-mail address that is being spammed to death, so you need to keep it from happening in the first place.

Here are some tips to prevent your e-mail being spammed:

Don't post a real e-mail address in a public place like Usenet or the Internet. If you have to have a legitimate address, use tricks to get around the automatic e-mail harvesters used by spammers.

For example, post your e-mail address on a web site in the form of a JPEG image instead of text. Or put it in some format that is difficult to automatically decipher, like this: myemail -( at )- domain )-dot-( com. Or you can 'munge' the address, by putting extra text in like myemailSPAMSTINKS@REMOVETHIS.domain.com. Don't do anything too obvious (like myemail@NOSPAM.domain.com) or the harvesters will be able to decipher it.

If you DO get spammed, never, ever reply to it or click any links in it. This will get you more spam.

Don't pick an address that is too easy to guess. If your e-mail is joe@somepopularISP.com, you can bet you will be first on every spammer's list. This goes especially for the bigger ISPs and free e-mail services that would have lots of e-mail addresses for spammers to mail to.

Don't give your real e-mail address to anyone who doesn't really need it. If you're buying something online, or signing up for a free service somewhere, keep a free e-mail address that you use for this purpose only. That way if you get spammed it won't bother you at your real e-mail address, and you will still have the receipt if you need to go find it. When this spare address gets too full of spam, you can throw it away and start a new one since you don't have anyone legitimately contacting you with that address.

Make sure you are using a reputable ISP that has a good privacy policy. In rare circumstances, ISPs will sell their e-mail lists.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • servers are now assigning email addresses. I tried to get Cox.net to change my address as I found out three other people have had this address. Cox would not change the address. I am being spammed to death and tried to change servers but there is not other service in this area. Most of the spam does not even contain unsubscribe area. I use Outlook Express and have tried all they offer to block it but it still keeps coming, Any suggestions. I live in Mesa, AZ

    2008-12-11 16:34:56

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